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Here comes the sun, little darling, and here comes another wing woman - meet Anshu Stephen! Anshu's name in Hindi means "ray of light," which her personality totally embodies. She has worked in the coaching space since 2012, and she is a certified trauma-informed coach providing strength-based and solution-focused coaching in English, Hindi and Urdu for Women, LGBTQ2+ and for individuals on the Autism spectrum. She is also a certified TESOL instructor. In our interview, Anshu shares how she loves traveling and exploring other cultures, how she is building a space to provide awareness and healing from trauma, and how the women in her life remind her of her strength and help her fight off doubt. Continue reading to learn all about Anshu!


1. What makes you happy?


Sunshine, combined with homemade chicken curry and fluffy basmati rice, is one of my favorite happy places. I am thankful to have quite a few experiences that bring joy for my whole being- another one is being able to travel and explore other cultures with my best friend who loves me at my overwhelmed, thriving and growing self.


2. What advice would you give your younger self?


I talk to my younger self quite often and remind her that she is enough and unconditionally loved just the way she is. I tell her that, to feel strongly, is her strength.

3. If you could magically solve one problem in the world, what would that be?


I would want to be a part of a world that represents and celebrates gender equality with intersectionality in institutions, economics, and everyday interactions. I can see it all trickle down to eradicate discrimination, poverty, and privilege. And create safety, freedom and empowered rights for all individuals to contribute and flourish on their terms.


4. How did you find your purpose?


I knew my purpose very early on; it was to learn about and support people with their challenges. I followed this call through University with my Behavioral Science degree and loved walking alongside powerful resilient stories in my nine years of human services work. And then there came a day I felt defeated when my employer refused to invest back in me- so I grew out of it eager to start investing in myself. I started to build a space, combining my education and my tools from my experiences as a trauma survivor, to provide awareness and healing from a trauma informed lens in our community.


5. What is your biggest pain point in building relationships?


Unspoken expectations can really get in the way of thriving relationships. I think it's so important to ask questions to clarify and confirm what the other person is saying before assumptions solidify. I think we often are listening to ourselves while in conversations with others and that doesn’t allow for genuine and equal relationships.


6. What have you learned from past friendships that didn't work out?


I have learned to be a better listener, to put my expectations aside and just ask how can I be here for you! I have also learned to ask for support when I need it and allow others to lift me up as well and not carry it all on my own.


7. Who are your SHEros (AKA female heroes)?


I have been blessed to have been surrounded by extraordinary women in all stages of my life.

My Dadi and Nani (Grandma’s) inspire me everyday to stay grounded in my roots, while my Mom encourages me to keep my eyes fixated on the path ahead; never looking back. I also have a mentor, Puja, who generously reminds me of my achievements to fight off any lingering doubts.


8. What podcasts/books are you listening/reading right now?


I just found Citylinereal podcast that sheds a light on racism in Canada.

I really enjoyed listening to “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah early this year.

I also love listening back to the conversations I have with my soul sisters on our podcast- Soulsessions


9. Where can we find you?


www.fillyourjarcoaching.com

instagram.com/fillyourjar

facebook.com/fillyourjar

https://www.linkedin.com/in/anshu-stephen-35824974/

If you've ever struggled to do a single pushup, you are not alone - this week's #wingwoman has been there and now inspires women everywhere to make small, sustainable changes in their daily lives - meet Tara Abel! Tara is the owner of Tara Abel Fitness; she is also a mom of 4 kids (yes, FOUR), a certified personal trainer, a pregnancy and postpartum coach, and a nutrition coach. Tara originally got into the fitness industry to inspire women who didn't align with the all-or-nothing mentality that most programs have and instead teach them how fitness can enhance their lives (and how to conquer those dang pushups). In our interview, Tara shares how she loves having honest, vulnerable conversations with women, how she knew she found her purpose when she could spend hours talking about that one thing, and how she strives to keep her circle of friends small. Continue reading to learn all about Tara!


1. What makes you happy?


Honestly, it’s the little things for me. Watching terrible reality tv shows and eating candy with my best friend, spending time with my family, Crossfit, home design, board games, seeing new places, and moments of quiet and alone time (with four kids, this is so rare!) I also absolutely love coaching and celebrating progress with my clients. Watching that moment where something clicks and seeing how much fitness can change their every day life and motherhood is powerful!


2. What advice would you give your younger self?


I would tell my younger self to not be held back by fear, uncertainty, or perfectionism; to do the hard thing and know that I can handle any outcome. I would also tell myself to base my choices on what I wanted or what I thought was right and not to worry about others’ expectations or opinions.

3. If you could magically solve one problem in the world, what would that be?


I would have to say understanding and treatment of trauma and mental illness, including increasing awareness of basic psychology and sociology. I truly think having basic understanding and tools in these departments is at the root of understanding and beginning to tackle the many important nuanced issues we face in society but on a personal level for all of us as well.


4. How did you find your purpose?


I don’t know if I believe in having just one purpose, but I can say with certainty that when I started to pursue the things that kept me up at night or that I realized I could talk passionately about for hours, how I spent my time started to feel meaningful to me.


In becoming a coach, I realized for myself what a gap there was between returning to fitness and life and the pregnancy and postpartum chapters. In seeing how difficult it was to find answers for myself, particularly when it came to issues such as diastasis recti and pelvic floor dysfunction (eg. prolapse, leaking, etc.), I realized that there needs to be so much more support for women to navigate this. I wanted to be that for them.


In having honest, vulnerable conversations with women, it also became apparent that often the fitness industry has a specific box it tries to fit women into. It didn’t see them as whole people and this wasn’t helpful at all for women achieving long-term success. This has led me to focus on making fitness practical and sustainable, while also sharing openly about where fitness intersects with things like postpartum anxiety and depression, body image, motherhood, and social issues women face.


5. What is your biggest pain point in building relationships?


I’m incredibly introverted and it takes a while for me to truly be close or comfortable with someone. Coming from a big family, I’ve learned how to manage really well in social situations so people wouldn’t suspect that I hardly leave my house and keep my circle small!


6. What have you learned from past friendships that didn't work out?


I’ve come to learn that people come in and out of your life and that people being in different stages at different times or just changing in general can really impact a friendship. Time is so limited, especially for moms, and if you aren’t excited to spend time with someone or you find a relationship stressful, you actually don’t have to keep those relationships up! Sometimes, respectfully moving forward without that friendship is the best choice to make for both of you and it can be freeing to let go.


7. Who are your SHEros (AKA female heroes)?


My mom. I honestly don’t know how my mom has been through as much as she has and admire the way she faces it all with determination, strength, and perseverance.


8. What podcasts/books are you listening/reading right now?


I just finished re-reading one of my absolute favourite books, The Glass Castle, and am reading The Body Keeps The Score and A Promised Land. I’m kind of all over the place but I love hearing and being inspired by people’s stories and also learning about why we humans are the way we are.


I listen to so, so many podcasts but I would have to say that lately I’ve been loving and keeping up with Armchair Expert, This American Life, and Judge John Hodgeman. For work related podcasts, To Birth and Beyond has a ton of great information for pregnancy and postpartum.


9. Where can we find you?


I’m on Instagram @taraabelfitness, on Facebook @taraabelfitness, and you can contact me through my website www.taraabel.com.

Kids and adults alike can struggle to process difficult emotions, and this is why this week's #wingwoman wrote a book about it - meet Amen Kaur! Amen's children's book, Dealing With My Feelings, is aimed to help kids (and their parents) with mindful strategies to deal with difficult emotions. Amen was born and raised in Calgary, and she is deeply passionate about cultivating emotional intelligence and parenting mindfully. In our interview, Amen shares how she believes learning is a superpower, how unconditional love is crucial for children, and how it's okay to set boundaries in friendships. Continue reading to learn all about Amen!


1. What makes you happy?


I feel the happiest when I’m creating, taking time out to do things I love and spending quality time with my son and husband. These things help keep me in the moment, it’s when I feel the most joy.


2. What advice would you give your younger self?


Ah there is so much I would want to say. For starters read more books (other than psychology)- learning is a superpower! Take care of yourself, invest in yourself- no one else is going to do it for you. Go take those martial arts classes. Keep working hard and doing what you love.

3. If you could magically solve one problem in the world, what would that be?


An end to childism. How amazing would this world be if all children were treated with respect, accepted for who they are and were encouraged to follow their own dreams, loved unconditionally. They would grow up to be incredible adults.


4. How did you find your purpose?


I haven’t found any one purpose. If anything, I enjoy connecting with my inner self through meditation, working on my inner healing and self-growth. From that space, wherever the journey takes me, I go.


5. What is your biggest pain point in building relationships?


I think my biggest pain point is being vulnerable. I don’t like to “burden” anyone with my concerns, so I’ve always been a better listener.


6. What have you learned from past friendships that didn't work out?


I think the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is it’s always okay to set boundaries in friendships. And with time, people evolve and the same friendship might look very different down the road, all types are okay.


7. Who are your SHEros (AKA female heroes)?


My mom is my biggest hero. She has modeled unconditional love for me and supported me throughout my life’s journey. I have some amazing friends who inspire me to do better.


8. What podcasts/books are you listening/reading right now?


I don’t listen to too many podcasts but my husband does and he is always sharing something with me about them. The last parenting book I finished was how to raise a boy, and currently- Own the Day, Own Your Life.


9. Where can we find you?


You can reach me through Instagram:

@amenkaur @mindfulgentlemama

or my website: www.amenkaurbooks.com (info@amenkaurbooks.com)

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